The Good Fight Season 5 Episode 4 Review: And the clerk had a firm...Jessica Lerner at .
Oh, Diane. You've certainly made a mess of things on The Good Fight Season 5 Episode 4,
Your heart was in the right place, but that may not matter if Kurt spends 20 years in prison.
And even if he evades jail time, your marriage may not recover.
Yes, the truth about Diane's "betrayal" finally came out, and it happened in the worst way possible -- Kurt being blindsided by his wife's dishonesty in front of a grand jury.
Had Diane confessed to Kurt before he learned the truth in court, the marrieds may have been able to move past this speed bump.
Diane: I should have told you. I’m sorry. But I knew you’d be upset, so I withheld. I was wrong. So what happened? Did you take the fifth? Did she allow it? Kurt?
Kurt: I need a new lawyer.
Kurt wouldn't have been OK that Diane went against his explicit wishes, but it would have been better than the state they find themselves in now. It's hard to get a read on how angry Kurt is, but he's not happy with Diane.
He told her to let the Dylan Pike thing go, and not only did Diane ignore his wishes, but she also made a not-so anonymous call to the Feds.
Turning in Pike to the authorities was the right thing to do, but Diane went about it wrong.
Sure, she had no idea identifying Dylan Pike as an insurrectionist would lead to Kurt being accused as the ringleader for the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, but there are other ways Diane could have handled the situation.
After she learned Pike's identity, she should have sat down and talked with Kurt about their next steps.
Kurt can be withholding and a bit prickly, but Diane usually gets him to open up after some pushing.
They could have had a conversation about where they go from here, and Diane may have gotten a better understanding of how badly things could look for Kurt once Pike was in custody.
It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than the route Diane went -- deceiving her husband and then continuing to lie to him. However, here we are, and Diane and Kurt's marriage isn't in a great place.
Diane: I think it’s time to talk.
Kurt: It wasn’t a legal issue. It was something for work.
Diane: If you’re keeping it from the FBI, it’s a legal issue. Are you not telling me because I’m your lawyer or because I’m your wife?
Kurt: Because your politics.
Diane: Oh come on, turning in insurrectionists should be our politics.
Kurt: Diane, this works between us because we don’t let our political judgments overwhelm our respect for each other.
Diane: Kurt, I lived through eight years of the Tea Party and four years of Trump, but Jan. 6 changed everything for me. I can’t treat this like a chess game anymore.
Kurt: What is the chess game here? Us? This marriage?
Diane: No, that’s the one thing that’s not a game.
As we've discussed, Diane and Kurt have been through a lot, and by no means is Kurt a saint, but his infidelity never put Diane in jeopardy of going to jail.
It may be comparing apples to oranges, but there's a lot Diane and Kurt are going to need to work through if their marriage can survive, and it's unclear if it can.
Moving on, the series continued its flawless execution of timely issues as the writers took on political correctness and cancel culture head-on.
We shouldn't have expected anything less, but the subplot was still masterful, as the writers presented the argument of when political correctness has gone too far.
You'll be hard-pressed to find content in today's day and age that doesn't offend someone, and that's even harder with comedy.
Making fun of people or playing into or against stereotypes is a big part of comedy, but if you can't crack jokes for fear of being canceled or called out, then you're not left with much to work.
What you get is making incoherent jokes about the Amish having big juicy butts because of their buggy rides. It makes absolutely no sense and isn't humorous in the slightest.
That's not to say political correctness doesn't have its place because it does, and some topics should never be made light of. Still, sometimes we have to wonder if by insisting on political correctness, we're overcorrecting.
Jay: Is there anything we can’t do?
Mailroom worker: Necrophilia?
Marissa: No that could be funny.
Mailroom worker: Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant.
To ensure that no one is offended, we cannot do much of anything or say.
That's why the joke permits were amazing. Simple and elegant in design, these cards gave people the freedom to make slightly offensive and stereotypical jokes without fear of retribution.
The jokes made were all in good fun, and it was entertaining to watch the associates get a kick out of the joke permits and trade them.
Even the senior and name partners got in on some of the laughs. It was a harmless way to blow off steam and critique today's culture, that is until HR got involved.
Long-standing fans will remember this isn't the first time HR was gone overboard in trying to be above reproach. Remember when Adrian was reprimanded for saying the N-word while quoting Vernon Jordan?
That alone sparked a massive debate over the use of certain words at the workplace, so, unsurprisingly, HR got involved again, just another example of how things that seem good on paper may not be in practice.
Overall, this was such a thought-provoking and beautifully done examination, so kudos to the writers for pursuing despite the remote possibility they could be canceled for discussing this.
Then there's the 9¾ Circuit Court subplot, which gets better and more absurd by the episode.
Wackner is trying to build something beautiful and meaningful and has no problem getting creative to fix some of the issues in the justice system.
Julius: Did you get a card on your desk?
Liz: Yeah, mine says good for one joke about little people. What about you?
Julius: White girl clothes.
Liz: Huh, did you use it?
Julius: What does that mean, use it?
Liz: Well, I think it means you’re supposed to use this card to tell one joke.
Julius: Oh I don’t want to tell a joke about white girl clothes.
Liz: All right, then trade me.
Julius: Is this about people making fun of the partners because they think we’re not funny?
Liz: Well, I don’t know. Maybe we need to look for someone with a partners card.
Was forcing witnesses to wear costumes and showing jurors photos of a diapered lawyer sucking his thumb crazy? Absolutely.
But did we still get a good laugh out of it while understanding the reason behind Wackner's supposed madness? Heck yes.
However, the ending has me worried that the people's court is about to become something more akin to the arbitration-based reality court show Judge Judy.
The series ran for 25 seasons, aired 6280 episodes, and was a cultural phenomenon. And while that's beyond impressive, something always felt rather jokey and lacking when I occasionally stumbled upon an episode on television.
Former Manhattan family court Judge Judith Sheindlin oversaw real-life small-claim disputes, and most episodes featured disagreements between former lovers, disputing neighbors, or family and friend relations.
Nothing about these cases was consequential, and a lot of the episode felt stiff and rehearsed, which makes sense as it was a reality television show.
Succinctly, Judge Judy felt like the equivalent of a puff piece, so it makes me nervous that the 9¾ Circuit Court would somehow be perverted if the writers go the televised courtroom route, which is almost certainly what will happen.
Maybe it's hypocritical, especially given Wackner's theatrical flair, his recent efforts to combat jury bias, and he mostly presides over similar small-claim cases -- the $4 million NFT jury trial notwithstanding, but it still felt like we were on the precipe of something great.
Marissa: Well, what’s the case?
Wackner: NFT fraud.
Marissa: I don’t know what that is.
Wackner: Non-fungible token. Someone sold a painting that was an NFT fake, and they’re suing them for $4 million.
Marissa: You’re hearing a case involving $4 million?
Wackner: It’s a jury trial.
Marissa: OK, but that’s… this was cute when it was the people’s court, but why would anyone agree to let you decide?
Wackner: Signed and notarized. Both sides will honor the jury’s verdict.
Marissa: But this was notarized in your fictional court by you about a fictional case.
Wackner: About a fictional crime -- faking an NFT. Marissa, it seems there are some last-remaining braincells in there that are unwilling to climb onboard. This is a court. In fact, it’s better than a court. A court is defined by the justice it administers, not by the ceremony it displays. So come on. I bought your services from your law firm. I have a chair for you out there. It has your name on it. What else do you need?
Sure, his antics were over the top and insane half the time, but he truly believed in what he was doing.
Wackner saw the inherent flaws in the justice system and tried to correct them, and even if his methods were extreme, it was still admirable.
However, turning his back store courtroom into a reality show on a streaming platform feels wrong somehow, like it dilutes his intentions or diminishes what he's trying to accomplish.
Suddenly the people's court, beholden to no one, is now beholden to everyone -- producers, network executives, advertisers.
It just feels like Wackner's idealism has been cheapened like he's selling out somehow.
Maybe this makes no sense, but only time will tell on what happens next.
Some stray thoughts:
It's still hard to get a read on Carmen. The most that we can say is she's loyal. She refused to divulge that Rivi was her source and decided to stay put. Diane and Liz may not be happy with Carmen keeping them in the dark about some things, but her choice to stay should help build some trust.
Nancy Crozier returned, only this time she was using her pregnancy instead of her youth to her advantage. It's fun when The Good Wife alum pop by here and there, and Nancy was no exception. Even though she was a pain, it was still great to see a familiar face.
Was anyone curious why the series didn't do The Good Fight Shorts to explain what NFTs are? Wackner did a decent job, but a song would have been better.
David Lee is such a pompous ass sometimes. Good on Liz for finally calling him out.
So what did you think, Good Fight Fanatics?
Are Diane and Kurt done for good?
Did you enjoy the series subverting cancel culture?
Is Wackner's courtroom the next Judge Judy?
Don't forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.